Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX is a premier construction claims firm serving contractors, owners, sureties, and insurance carriers on all types of projects from infrastructure to vertical construction. Our claims analysis generally involves an entitlement review, forensic scheduling to identify delay components, damage calculations, and fault allocation analysis.

Entitlement Review

VERTEX’s claim process starts with an entitlement analysis, which requires a review of contract documents, site specifications, construction schedules, and contemporaneous correspondence. In addition, VERTEX typically interviews key personnel to increase our understanding of the facts. VERTEX then determines they nature of the claim issue, whether it involves: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other number of claim categories. Once VERTEX has a complete understanding of the facts we offer our support-based opinions.

Damage Calculation

Once VERTEX completes its entitlement review and forensic scheduling evaluation, we move on to our damages analysis. VERTEX draws upon construction cost data from our portfolio of thousands of construction projects, industry standard construction cost data from various software providers such as RSMeans and Xactimate, subcontractor and vendor quotes on certain divisions of work, and actual cost data work already performed. We are experts in providing actual cost claims, estimated cost claims, and total/modified cost claims.

Forensic Scheduling

Many construction claims involve delay damage components. Therefore, VERTEX’s team of forensic schedulers are experts in the use of scheduling software that is commonly used on construction projects. We use this expertise, coupled with our real-world construction experience, to identify durational impacts that caused financial impacts to our clients. Scheduling impacts are often included in claims that involve: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other claim categories.

Fault Allocation

In certain instances VERTEX is asked to provide fault allocation opinions once we complete our claim review. In these instances, VERTEX reviews the issues, identifies the duties of the various parties involved in the design and construction of the project, assigns an initial responsibility, and then adjusts the fault allocation to account for patent conditions and follow-up work that covered up defective work, if appropriate.

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Key Personnel

Executive Vice President, Surety

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

As an Executive Vice President for VERTEX, Diana Minchella manages the surety claims consulting division nationwide. Ms. Minchella has a strong background in investigating and analyzing construction claims for contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers on a variety of projects including commercial, municipal, healthcare, transportation, wastewater treatment and solar facilities. Ms. Minchella has the experience and capabilities to review and defend against construction claims as well as to prepare affirmative claims. Her claims experience has involved construction delays, design defects, owner-initiated changes, unanticipated weather, differing site conditions, disruption, and defective work. As a claims consultant, Ms. Minchella has experience in analyzing schedules and calculating damages.

Ms. Minchella also has a strong background in construction management and civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. As a project manager with VERTEX, Ms. Minchella has provided construction management and consulting services on numerous multi-million-dollar projects throughout the northeast. Many of these projects were distressed and required Ms. Minchella’s experience and leadership to bring the projects to completion. Ms. Minchella is a respected consultant in the surety claims industry.

Executive Vice President, Litigation Support

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Ryan Phillips has over a decade of construction management and construction claim experience in the Rocky Mountain Region. Specific expertise includes: surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction defect cost estimating, liability review for construction defect matters, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation. As the Executive Vice President of Litigation Support, Mr. Phillips oversees contract claims and other legal consulting requiring environmental, engineering and construction expertise. 

Chief Executive Officer

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May-2019). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified over 150 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

News

VERTEX DC Metro Office Celebrates 5 Years

August 2, 2018

VERTEX’s office in the DC Metro area has been steadily growing since 2013. Led by Michael Plainte, the team includes experts in Forensics, Engineering Design, Construction, and Environmental services. VERTEX welcomes their newest member, David Berry, Division Manager of Remediation. To learn more about VERTEX’s Services, call 888.298.5162 or submit an inquiry.

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VERTEX is at CDLA'18

July 25, 2018

VERTEX will be exhibiting at CDLA’18 in Telluride, Colorado on July 26th and 27th. If you are attending, be sure to stop by booth #18 and say hello to Ryan Phillips, Zach Bradshaw and Barrett Stephens. This year’s topic is Health + Wellness in The Law. Each summer attorneys, judges and other legal experts alike come together…

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VERTEX Attends Topping Out Ceremony

July 16, 2018

On Wednesday, July 11th, VERTEX Sr. Project Manager, Vince Harriman, and VERTEX Project Manager, Kevin DiMarco, attended a topping out ceremony in Chadds Ford, PA. General Contractor, Cutler Associates, Inc. of Malvern PA and their steel subcontractor, O’Rourke & Sons of West Chester PA, hoisted the final beam into place just before noon on behalf of…

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VERTEX Ranked #31 in ENR's Top 100 Construction Management-for-Fee Firms

June 28, 2018

VERTEX is proud to be ranked #31 in ENR’s Top 100 Construction Management-for-Fee Firms. Companies are ranked based on total 2017 revenue in $ millions for construction-management or project/program-management services performed as a professional service for a fee. As reported by ENR, the market for professional services remains strong, as can be seen in the results…

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VERTEX Awarded 2018 Best Firms to Work For & Hot Firm by Zweig Group

June 1, 2018

Zweig Group recently announced their 2018 Hot Firm List and 2018 Best Firms to Work For Award. VERTEX is proud to be ranked on both lists! The 2018 Hot Firm List honors the fastest growing firms in the architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting industries. Firms are ranked on three-year growth in revenue, by both percentage and…

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Blog

The Main Shortcomings of Construction Schedules Obstructing Proper Delay Analyses

July 19, 2018

What are the indications a schedule is not well-developed, especially for use in construction delay analyses? Although many things can hamper a delay analysis, schedule quality concerns are of particular significance. Below is a brief list of issues commonly used to discount the credibility of construction schedules in delay analyses. Since criticisms used to deride…

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10 Steps to Performing a Construction Delay Analysis without a Project Schedule

July 17, 2018

Contractors frequently come to us to help prepare a delay claim in order to recover damages allegedly caused by an owner or subcontractor on a construction project. Not so frequently, they inform us there isn’t a formal project schedule or any updates that would normally be used to demonstrate the claimed schedule impact. While not…

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The Eichleay Formula and Delay Claims – What You Need to Know

June 8, 2018

In addition to project-specific costs, contractors rely on project revenue to support, or “absorb”, their home office general and administrative (G&A) costs. If project duration increases but the associated revenue does not, the same amount of revenue must be stretched even further. As a result, when a contractor submits a delay claim for an event…

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Measuring the Reasonableness of Completion Costs Post Termination:
Part 3

April 12, 2018

So far, we have covered how to determine if completion costs are reasonable and which completion costs should be considered reasonable. As we conclude our series, we will discuss which completion costs should not be considered reasonable. What Costs are Not Reasonable for Recovery? Costs may have been incurred in the completion of the work that are…

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Ladder Safety Training Video

April 11, 2018

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), over 500,000 people are treated each year for ladder related falls. Whether you use a ladder out in the field, in your workplace or at home, safety should always be your number one priority.  At VERTEX, safety is part of our culture. We recently hosted…

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